USD or UCI?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

UCI or USD (given my situation)?

UCI
12
52%
USD
7
30%
Doesn't matter
4
17%
 
Total votes: 23

Heterological
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:49 am

USD or UCI?

Postby Heterological » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:06 am

I live in San Diego with my boyfriend and don’t plan to move in the foreseeable future. (This means I would be commuting to UCI; it’s about an hour and fifteen to an hour and a half. My parents live nearby, though, so I could crash with them as often as I liked.) I also want to practice in San Diego after I graduate, and I’ve heard that, given a desire to work here, USD is “better than Harvard.” I’m interested in public interest law; I think I’d like to work as a public defender, and/or work for the ACLU, Lambda Legal, etc. Someday I might like to teach law, not necessarily in a tenure-track position, but maybe as an adjunct while working in private practice. Both schools are offering me generous scholarships, and I have a lot of money coming in from my grandparents' estate, so either way I may be able to get through without loans.

Having attended ASD at both schools, I realize I'm really enthusiastic about UCI as a school, and San Diego as a place to spend the rest of my life. At UCI, I felt really at home with the current and other prospective students and the faculty; as a liberal atheist, I'm still a little weirded out at the thought of going to a Catholic university. I liked the presentation by USD's mock trial team, but I was really excited about the propect of starting a new student organization at UCI. How much is USD's alumni network worth, compared to UCI's likely higher ranking and, based on what I've read as well as what I experienced sitting in on classes, superior faculty? Would I really be at a disadvantage, employment-wise, going to school in the next county, especially if I continued to live (and do internships) in San Diego?

Finally, I haven't heard back from UCLA, but given my reluctance to move, I've pretty much written it off. Am I a complete idiot?

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bk1
Posts: 18402
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Re: USD or UCI?

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:10 am

Scholarship offer to USD and any stipulations on it?

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esq
Posts: 571
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:59 pm

Re: USD or UCI?

Postby esq » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:51 am

USD is not better for placing in San Diego than Harvard. USD, in fact, has a very bad track record for employment at the time - I think around 60% overall. And given the desirability of San Diego, you are going to have a lot of competition for public interest positions from people who have gone to schools that blow USD out of the water. Teaching law is certainly not an option for you at either USD or UCI either. I would actually go to UCLA if you have the chance.

Heterological
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:49 am

Re: USD or UCI?

Postby Heterological » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:54 am

From USD: $38k per year, renewable at full amount if I'm in the top third, renews at $18k if I'm between 34th and 50th percentile, and $10k if I'm below 50. UCI is giving everyone a 40% scholarship next year. But like I said, I should be able to cover the costs regardless.

Heterological
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:49 am

Re: USD or UCI?

Postby Heterological » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:00 am

esq wrote:Teaching law is certainly not an option for you at either USD or UCI either.

USD has hired some of their own alumni as law professors, so I don't think that's true. And of course places like CalWestern and Thomas Jefferson have faculty from even less prestigious schools. I'm not looking to teach at Harvard or anything.

Case2L
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:05 pm

Re: USD or UCI?

Postby Case2L » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:05 am

I voted UCI because it seems like you would be happier there. Dean Chemerinsky is a rockstar in the ultra-liberal community, and he has put together a faculty worthy of a T14. Will UCI make a splash in the ranking? Who knows. But, UCI is working hard on establishing a strong reputation in Southern California. It just seems like a friendlier place for a liberal atheist.

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esq
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Re: USD or UCI?

Postby esq » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:55 pm

Heterological wrote:
esq wrote:Teaching law is certainly not an option for you at either USD or UCI either.

USD has hired some of their own alumni as law professors, so I don't think that's true. And of course places like CalWestern and Thomas Jefferson have faculty from even less prestigious schools. I'm not looking to teach at Harvard or anything.

Well here's to hoping that your anecdotal, one in a million, evidence pans out for ya. I'm very certain that if you looked into it, you'd be pretty hard pressed to find any legal professors that came out of USD even at some of the lower tiered schools that you've mentioned. It's a very competitive thing to be a legal professor since it's such a desirable, yet scarce, job and you virtually have to go to a top law school to have any shot. The verdict is out on UCI, seeing that it is still so new (and not yet ABA accredited), but I wouldn't bet on this being a good option for what you are looking to do either. Your most realistic shot with these schools is unemployment landing a mid-law position, you'd have to be a very special snowflake to come out of USD or UCI working PI with a gig as a legal professor on the side. Good luck becoming that special snowflake though Heterological - you'd have a much better shot at it coming out of UCLA, though, so if you can make this happen . . . make it happen.

Rule11
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:25 pm

Re: USD or UCI?

Postby Rule11 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:03 pm

UCI, if you can stomach the commute. The USD scholarship doesn't look that good with the stipulations.

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arhmcpo
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: USD or UCI?

Postby arhmcpo » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:23 pm

esq wrote:
Heterological wrote:
esq wrote:Teaching law is certainly not an option for you at either USD or UCI either.

USD has hired some of their own alumni as law professors, so I don't think that's true. And of course places like CalWestern and Thomas Jefferson have faculty from even less prestigious schools. I'm not looking to teach at Harvard or anything.

Well here's to hoping that your anecdotal, one in a million, evidence pans out for ya. I'm very certain that if you looked into it, you'd be pretty hard pressed to find any legal professors that came out of USD even at some of the lower tiered schools that you've mentioned. It's a very competitive thing to be a legal professor since it's such a desirable, yet scarce, job and you virtually have to go to a top law school to have any shot. The verdict is out on UCI, seeing that it is still so new (and not yet ABA accredited), but I wouldn't bet on this being a good option for what you are looking to do either. Your most realistic shot with these schools is unemployment landing a mid-law position, you'd have to be a very special snowflake to come out of USD or UCI working PI with a gig as a legal professor on the side. Good luck becoming that special snowflake though Heterological - you'd have a much better shot at it coming out of UCLA, though, so if you can make this happen . . . make it happen.


You'd be on point if OP said they wanted tenure-track, but they said adjunct, so throw out your entire point. Adjuncts come from anywhere because as an adjunct your hired because of your professional experience. Yes, your law credentials matter, they always do, but your logic applied to tenure track in responding to OP. Every law school hires alumni to teach but usually they were literally Top of their class or close to it, and your often relegated to LRW (which are more like adjunct then tenure) although you would be full time. Adjunct is a much more reasonable option, but to get there you would need a successful career in your chosen field first. To OP's point: its a misconception that T4's like Thomas Jefferson hire low level faculty, check their faculty bios and you will find all the usual suspects on tenure track (HYS alums etc.) Professor positions are so sought after and so rare that even bottom of the barrel schools will still be full of faculty from T6 schools. Adjunct is a reasonable dream for you since your goal should be finding and excelling in your chosen field and hoping one day for the opportunity to be an adjunct.




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